Fashion Design and Development

Video of Meet Izzie: Fashion Design and Development student



  • "I’ve loved making clothes all my life and would always just wing it and cut things up, which I still like to do, but now I know the right way to do things too which has improved my designs."Rose Soma, founder/owner of Rose Soma, LLC., alumnus, 2021 (read more about Rose Soma)

Program overview

This program is offered in-person.

Design and development professionals use their creative and technical skills to design products, develop patterns, monitor quality control and assurance and coordinate sourcing activities in apparel and soft goods companies. The major meets increasing industry demand for graduates who understand the industry's design and merchandising aspects. The design and merchandising functions are becoming more interrelated as apparel firms rely increasingly on private brands; and apparel manufacturers assume a more prominent retailing role. Students who elect this option take design, merchandising, and business courses to prepare them for challenging careers in apparel manufacturing, marketing, and retailing companies.

Prospective students may arrange a department visit by contacting Kelly Weathers.

Why fashion design and development at Western Michigan University?

Career opportunities

Fashion and technical designers, Product developers, Production managers, Quality control managers, Sourcing managers, Stylists, etc.

Student success and alumni stories

WMU alums have transformed their passion for fashion into challenging and creative careers. You will find our grads working for national retailers and famous brands worldwide. They are designers, buyers, merchandisers, managers and marketers for companies like Anthropologie, Bloomingdale's, David's Bridal, Express, J. Crew, and Land's End. You will  find them in some unexpected places as automotive and airplane interior designers and retail software marketers. We are very proud of our alums! 


Student organization

  • Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association (MODA) is the student organization representing fashion merchandising and design majors and minors. Joining this organization enhances personal and professional skills and provides opportunities to meet and develop friendships with fellow majors, network with companies and learn about careers. Members use their creativity and leadership skills to help produce annual student fashion shows. Contact faculty advisor Kelly Weathers for more information. Follow them on Instagram @wmumoda

Experiential Learning

field experiences Internships Study abroad

Academic Advising

The College of Education and Human Development Office of Admissions and Advising assists students in planning their studies. Majors should meet with an advisor each semester to ensure that they stay on track toward graduation. Customize your degree with an optional WMU Signature Designation.

course guide and grad plan CONSULT WITH ADVISOR 

Student success services

Cost & Funding

Helpful links



(from left to right)